Sunday, July 3, 2022

Organs of state at war with each other

The Director of Directorate of Intelligence Services Peter Magosi has admitted having a tortured relationship with the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime over some matters classified as threats to national security.

Magosi was under pressure from opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) who wanted  answers regardless of a sub-judice rule which prohibits the matter to be discussed in public or published by the media because it’s still before judicial consideration.

When appearing before the Public Accounts Committee recently, DIS Director General Peter Magosi concurred that some corruption dockets which are currently before the High Court have caused tensions between the DIS and the DCEC.

Despite efforts by opposition MPs who sit on the Parliamentary Committee to get answers on the matter, Magosi shielded himself under the DIS Act which does not allow him to discuss operational matters.

He also told the committee that the matter which ought to have been discussed by the PAC was sub-judice.

But his answers did not sit well with most of the MP’s as they defied his advise and went on to ask more and more questions.

The MPs amongst them included Jwaneng/Mabutsane legislator Mephato Reatile, Dithapelo Keorapetse and MP for Francistown West Wynter Mmolotsi. They asked similar questions demanding answers regarding the matter which is “sub-judice”.

The Chairperson of the PAC and MP for Selebi-Phikwe West, Dithapelo Keorapetse wanted to know why the DIS seemed to be bullying other law enforcement agencies.

He said the dangers of intelligence organs of the State  attacking each other are a cause for concern for national security. He said if the current situation is not attended to timely will be like setting on a ticking time bomb.

Sources said the DCEC intelligence unit, legal unit and one person (name withheld) are a concern to Katlholo.

Sources said the DCEC is divided and the recent infiltration by the DIS is a major concern. Sources further advised DG Katlholo to use his intelligence unit to help break the impasse and bring peace between himself and those from the DIS.

Further, sources say, deception rocks the DCEC high command warning if Katlholo is not careful with his circle of trustees, he may find himself at the receiving end.

They said what Katlholo and Magosi are doing is not new to this country as it has happened between the DIS (under Isaac Kgosi) and the DCEC (under Rose Seretse) as well as between the DIS (under Kgosi) and the Botswana Defence Force(when Brigadier Peter Magosi was Head of Military Intelligence).

MPs asked Magosi why the DIS appears to be law unto itself and why it seems to be bullying others. They also wanted to know why lately there have been arrests of some heads of law enforcement officers in public like the Botswana Police Service Commissioner Keabetswe Makgophe.

In response the DIS DG, Magosi assured the committee and the public that the DIS will stop using the Holly Wood style of arrests.

“We will never operate outside the laws of this country. I am sure that every action that we take there is a reason why we are taking it. I would like to assure you and the nation at large that the very same issues that we are being accused of, in the long run the nation will realize that it was indeed necessary for us as the DIS to take those actions for the sake of national security,” said Magosi.

The Telegraph had previously reported on allegations of Katlholo’s office and that of Tsholofelo Bareetsi his secretary being sealed.

The raid concerned the ongoing investigation into the alleged missing ‘arms of war’ which were allegedly contained in one of the dockets especially Seleka Springs (Pty) Ltd.

Insiders have revealed that “at the centre of the investigations were files which were opened by the DCEC investigators against former president Ian Khama and his brothers who are currently facing charges of unlawful possession of firearms alongside Kgosi.

Katlholo is said to be facing allegations of destroying all efforts by his investigators probing the duo of Khama and Kgosi. 

When answering questions before the PAC, Magosi said he is harm strung because the matter is before court but revealed that what the DIS is being accused of has been elevated to a threat to national security.

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